So, over the past few years I've bought quite a few cars and trucks used that have always seemed to have coolant/temperature issues. So I've grown quite accustomed to the troubleshooting, repairing, and replacing parts associated with the cooling system in general.
This being my first Subaru though; I'm not sure what's "normal", and what's "not normal". A little background to start:
Yesterday I noticed the coolant temp spike up to around 229*F when I had the car sitting with the engine running for about 10 minutes (ambient temperature near 90*F). When I started to drive it and got it back home, the temp had settled to about 205*F (I have a ScanGauge II..like I said; I'm no stranger to diagnosing problems as I've bought a lot of used cars and trucks that ended up being problems ). Did some digging around in both fuse boxes and finally came up with the culprit. The Sub Fan 20a fuse in the engine fuse box was blown. So I replaced it and both fans are now working.
Here's the next part of it. When driving around the temp stays around 190. On the highways it gets to about 182-184. When I stop at stoplights it's getting to anywhere between 190-197 or so. If I sit with it parked and running in a parking lot and turn the air off (forcing the dual fans off on the radiator), the temp will climb to about 204*, and then the dual fans will kick on and the temp will quickly retreat to about 188-190*F.
So I know the fans are working...I just though that 204*F may be a little high for the fans to kick on. It is a 180* t-stat correct? It's all stock, no mods.
I have checked all hoses, the radiator, topped off the coolant reservoir both by the radiator and made sure the reservoir by the turbo/intercooler is topped off. I did the "burp" thing that I saw posted by JR on NASIOC, and the system has no air in it. What am I missing here? If anything? I'm leaning towards maybe the t-stat sticking, or not opening when it "should" (hence the 204* fan turn on temp). I thought they were supposed to turn on around 185* or so with the stock t-stat in these cars.
I have a 2004 WRX wagon if that makes any difference in the suggestions or opinions about this issue.
Thanks in advance. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to cover everything so that people had an idea of what's going on.